06 Oct Looking Ahead: Healthcare Ready’s Commitment to Rebuild Communities and Further Health Equity
By Dr. Sara Roszak, Senior Vice President, Health and Wellness Strategy and Policy, National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)
Since its founding in 2007, Healthcare Ready has been dedicated to strengthening our nation’s healthcare supply chain by supporting communities throughout the nation in preparing for and responding to emergencies and natural disasters. Whether it’s through their RX Open online portal that tracks which pharmacies are open during a hurricane or wildfire to ensure continued patient access to necessary medications, or through their platform of disseminating pertinent resources and information, like COVID-19 vaccination information, Healthcare Ready continues to be an asset for people, organizations, and public and private partners before, during and after a disaster.
As a member of Healthcare Ready’s board of directors, I see firsthand how Healthcare Ready stays true to its mission by assisting those impacted by disasters and responding quickly with necessary resources. They do this while ensuring that disparate partners can come together to share ideas and connect by sharing resources in the aftermath of a response. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has provided leadership to Healthcare Ready through its board of directors for years—in fact, we were one of the founding members. There’s a lot of value and synergy in being part of an organization that can help connect pharmacies with others across the healthcare continuum when they need it most. During the COVID-19 pandemic, NACDS has been focused on ensuring continuity of care for Americans via community pharmacies. To date, pharmacies have administered more than 262 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, with nearly half of the pharmacy sites located in areas with high social vulnerability and more than 40% of those vaccinated at pharmacies being from racial and ethnic minority group. Healthcare Ready was an ally to NACDS efforts with dedicated focus on preparedness in order to help communities and partners respond to the pandemic as well as better anticipate future needs. Moving forward, NACDS looks forward to working with Healthcare Ready to implement pandemic lessons learned that promote better health and foster equity beyond the current pandemic.
In the year ahead, Healthcare Ready will continue to seize the opportunities that have allowed it to make an impact, particularly due to the organization’s early and ongoing work with diverse communities affected by COVID-19. I look forward to seeing how Healthcare Ready and NACDS can continue to collaborate and engage together to refine and improve the strategies and lessons learned that proved most effective during the pandemic. And they’ll do this while continuing to bring communities together, especially those who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and other disasters, so that they’re better prepared for future crises. Best of all, the organization will bring to bear the full breadth of its 15 years of experience to applying that knowledge into the health equity space.
Healthcare Ready is the relationship builder—a critical liaison for government, industry and the nonprofit sector partners— connecting the right stakeholders to work collaboratively when preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies or disasters.
Healthcare Ready excels through its proven ability to get the right resources and the right people engaged in a niche mission when facing disasters, whether it’s before, during, or after they occur. They focus heavily on the supply chain from end to end, including the last mile, which includes pharmacies —all the places where patients get their much-needed medications, reliable health information, and other clinical services including vaccinations. There’s absolutely no one else out there that’s doing what the steadfast team at Healthcare Ready is doing and we couldn’t be more grateful.